Did women stop getting paid this weekend?

This Sunday, 11th November, was the day that a number of organisations stated that New Zealand ‘women effectively stop getting paid relative to men’ – a claim which is confusing, if not misleading.

A quick show of hands around the office will show you what common sense tells us. No, women in New Zealand didn’t suddenly stop getting paid yesterday.

The concept of women no longer getting paid for the rest of the year is flawed. As Global Women often repeats, the Gender Pay Gap does not show differences in wages for comparable jobs. Equal Pay – the same pay for the same work – has been a legal requirement in New Zealand since 1972.

It is therefore completely misleading to imply the Gender Pay Gap is the same as equal pay, that is, that women are paid less for doing the same work as male colleagues.

Giving a misleading view of what the Gender Pay Gap is actually risks undermining the very real progress that women have made and continue to make in the workplace. It also creates backlash from those who argue that the gender pay gap ‘isn’t real’ – usually from the mistaken belief that the gender pay gap refers to the unequal pay made illegal almost five decades ago.

Click here for a handy reminder on the difference between equal pay and the gender pay gap.